Lotus racer Rene Binder sets Friday Formula V8 3.5 pace at Spa

Lotus racer Rene Binder set the fastest time in Formula V8 3.5 practice at Spa-Francorchamps on Friday

Lotus racer Rene Binder sets Friday Formula V8 3.5 pace at Spa

The Austrian, who finished third at the Aragon season opener, ended the day over half a second clear of Teo Martin Motorsport's rookie Yu Kanamaru, thanks to a lap of 1m58.983s recorded in the afternoon session.

Former GP2 racer Binder admitted using new tyres to set his benchmark time, but remained confident for his race prospects.

"We didn't use new tyres in the first session and ended up 12th," said Binder.

"Then in the afternoon we managed to have three stints, and in the last I used the new tyres.

"I tried to do my best and we managed to cruise into the lead. I think we are really well prepared for the weekend."

Kanamaru fitted new tyres to set the quickest time in Friday morning's session, a 1m59.991s, and declared he was feeling at ease on his first experience of Spa in an FV8 3.5 car.

The second-to-fourth-placed drivers in the second session were separated by just 0.022s.

Behind Kanamaru, Fortec's Aragon race winner Louis Deletraz took third ahead of early season title rival Tom Dillmann.

"There were no major dramas today," said Fortec managing director Jamie Dye.

"Pietro [Fittipaldi, who claimed fifth and 12th], ran low-downforce, so obviously lost out in the middle sector compared to the majority of runners who were on medium-downforce.

"But it should be a low-downforce race. Anyone who tries medium will get chewed up by the low-downforce runners."

Victor last time out at the Hungaroring, championship leader Dillmann took fourth ahead of AVF team-mate Alfonso Celis Jr.

"We tried a couple of things that could suit this track, which is quite aero dependent and the results in the end have been good," said Dillmann.

"As always, we're not the strongest on Fridays. This is becoming a trend, so we have to make the steps we usually do to fight for the pole again.

"I don't take anything for granted; we need to work to find what we still miss. We'll see tomorrow."

Celis, who completed two days of Formula 1 testing for Force India at Barcelona earlier in the week, used new tyres to set his fifth fastest time.

Arden's Egor Orudzhev ended the day in sixth ahead of last year's championship runner-up Matthieu Vaxiviere, while Orudzhev's team-mate Aurelien Panis was uncharacteristically low down the classification, finishing in the penultimate position in both sessions.

MORNING TIMES

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Yu Kanamaru Teo Martin Motorsport 1m59.991s - 16
2 Johnny Cecotto Jr. RP Motorsport 2m00.023s 0.032s 16
3 Matthieu Vaxiviere SMP Racing 2m00.092s 0.101s 17
4 Louis Deletraz Fortec Motorsports 2m00.252s 0.261s 19
5 Pietro Fittipaldi Fortec Motorsports 2m00.635s 0.644s 17
6 Beitske Visser Teo Martin Motorsport 2m00.796s 0.805s 18
7 Matevos Isaakyan SMP Racing 2m01.039s 1.048s 17
8 Roy Nissany Lotus 2m01.078s 1.087s 15
9 Alfonso Celis AVF 2m01.094s 1.103s 17
10 Egor Orudzhev Arden Motorsport 2m01.110s 1.119s 19
11 Vitor Baptista RP Motorsport 2m01.111s 1.120s 16
12 Rene Binder Lotus 2m01.191s 1.200s 14
13 Tom Dillmann AVF 2m02.400s 2.409s 17
14 Aurelien Panis Arden Motorsport 2m03.321s 3.330s 13
15 Giuseppe Cipriani Durango Racing Team 2m07.025s 7.034s 18

AFTERNOON TIMES

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Rene Binder Lotus 1m58.983s - 16
2 Yu Kanamaru Teo Martin Motorsport 1m59.498s 0.515s 18
3 Louis Deletraz Fortec Motorsports 1m59.503s 0.520s 18
4 Tom Dillmann AVF 1m59.520s 0.537s 16
5 Alfonso Celis AVF 1m59.719s 0.736s 15
6 Egor Orudzhev Arden Motorsport 2m00.032s 1.049s 16
7 Matthieu Vaxiviere SMP Racing 2m00.309s 1.326s 19
8 Beitske Visser Teo Martin Motorsport 2m00.341s 1.358s 18
9 Johnny Cecotto Jr. RP Motorsport 2m00.417s 1.434s 15
10 Matevos Isaakyan SMP Racing 2m00.471s 1.488s 16
11 Vitor Baptista RP Motorsport 2m00.538s 1.555s 16
12 Pietro Fittipaldi Fortec Motorsports 2m00.582s 1.599s 17
13 Roy Nissany Lotus 2m00.730s 1.747s 10
14 Aurelien Panis Arden Motorsport 2m00.846s 1.863s 17
15 Giuseppe Cipriani Durango Racing Team 2m04.478s 5.495s 17

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